The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien launched of a campaign to create awareness of the improved grant available to remove lead pipes from homes.
Older housing stock built before the 1980s may contain lead pipes which in turn causes lead – which can be harmful to health – to enter drinking water. The Domestic Lead Remediation Grant Scheme provides funding for 100% of the approved cost of works to replace lead pipes, up to €5,000.
The grant is administered by local authorities and is not means-tested. The removal of lead pipes is the most effective way to reduce exposure to lead in drinking water and the available grant has the aim of replacing lead pipes with healthier, modern alternatives in the interests of public health.
All affected home owners are encouraged to avail of the scheme.
How to find out if your home contains lead pipes
People can find out if their homes contain lead pipes by checking the pipe running from the water main to your kitchen tap and looking for the point where the water supply pipe enters your house. Unpainted lead pipes are dull grey in colour and the joints appear to be ‘swollen’. They are also soft and scraping the surface with a coin will reveal a shiny, silver metal beneath. A qualified plumber or a registered building professional can also check the type of pipework in your home.
Uisce Éireann Customer Opt-In to replace lead pipes
The grant to remove lead pipes from the private site of your property complements Uisce Éireann’s (Irish Water) Customer Opt-In programme. This scheme replaces lead pipes on the public side of your property free of charge. To qualify you must have replaced your lead private supply pipe.
Lead and public health
Lead is a metal used for pipework and plumbing in some houses built before the 1980s. It is a proven health risk and no amount in drinking water is safe for public health. The HSE has a useful information page on the health risks of lead.
To avail of the grant contact your local authority: